COLUMBIA — Deven Larry likes to let his legs do the talking.
Hickman’s senior running back doesn’t say much. He’s in his second year with the Kewpies after moving to Columbia from Colorado before his junior year, but coach Arnel Monroe admits getting Larry to talk still isn’t easy.
Rock Bridge (7-3) at Hickman (8-1)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hickman High School
RADIO: KTGR/1580 AM
2012: Hickman 22-21
2011: Rock Bridge 33-27
2010: Rock Bridge 24-20
2009: Rock Bridge 26-0
2008: Hickman 41-7
2007: Hickman 23-0
2006: Rock Bridge 48-0
2005: Rock Bridge 21-18
2004: Hickman 35-0
2003: Hickman 30-14
2002: Rock Bridge 34-7
2001: Hickman 28-8
2000: Hickman 55-0
1995: Hickman 17-6
1994: Hickman 43-42 (3OT)
1981: Rock Bridge 7-0
Hickman leads series 9-7
“It takes a lot to get something out of him,” Monroe said. “Deven’s not one of those talking people. He’s a doer.”
Luckily for the Kewpies, Larry doesn’t need to talk much. His legs take care of that. With two touchdown runs of more than 35 yards in Hickman’s first-round playoff game against Timberland, Larry’s play made a louder statement than any words could.
After last Friday's big game, most of Larry's teammates had joined the celebratory tailgate when the star running back straggled out of the locker room, his confident smile shining as bright as the diamond earrings he wears.
He's used to reporters, but that doesn't make him any more talkative. Instead, Larry stays quiet and humble. Despite his blazing speed and ability to change directions on a dime, Larry quickly deflects the credit when posed with questions about his knack for big plays.
“I give it all to my linemen,” Larry said. "They’ve had big blocks when we’ve needed them.”
Hickman’s offense has relied on the running game for big plays all season long. A powerful offensive line that has come together as a unit and a deep stable of running backs have contributed to the Kewpies’ success on the ground.
But Larry has taken on an added workload with his primary backup Bohannon Davidson spending the past few weeks in a protective boot.
“I feel bad for Bo,” Larry said. “I just have to pick up the weight. I have backups, but there’s nobody like Bo.”
Monroe says Larry, who was relegated to third string duties at his high school in Colorado, is as talented as some of the great running backs that have worn the Hickman purple and gold.
“He’s right up there with some of the best. He’s explosive, and he's unselfish. There’s no back off in him. He goes and gets it.”
Larry has already surpassed his junior rushing total of just more than 900 yards and run for double-digit touchdowns this season, helping contribute to a running game that has preserved the identity of the Kewpies' football program.
"At Hickman we run the football," Monroe said. "We came into the season with that premise, and we’re going to stick to that premise."
Larry doesn't have a lot to say, but there's a certain appreciation in his voice when he talks about being a part of Hickman's program.
"I've never really had a tradition like that," Larry said. "It feels pretty good."
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.